Wherever you go in the world, safety is paramount. No one wants to be looking over their shoulder all the time and worrying about themselves or their belongings when also trying to immerse themselves in new surroundings and take in a new culture and with the majority of the world now living in cities, it's important to feel safe.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) had recently compiled a report on the safest cities, taking into account 40 indicators split across the four themes of digital security, health security, infrastructure safety and personal safety and then scoring these cities out of 100. Here we look at the top 15 and why they ran so highly.
15. Barcelona, Spain - 75.16
In the past, the city had been known as a bit of a hotbed for pickpockets and petty thieves who would target tourists taking an amble through the historic streets or along the beach front. However, in order to combat this, around three years ago the city council decided to increase the presence of Police officers on the streets and in the subways.
This led to a fall in crime rates by 32% which has shot the city into the top 15 of this list.
14. Montreal, Canada - 75.6
Canada is known for being both a strong, economically advanced country and one that is safe and welcoming and Montreal seems to be a prime example of this. Ranking both extremely highly in its business environment and its food safety, these factors suggest that people feel both safe in their jobs and at home.
With confidence in what they are buying and the economic state, few turn to crime.
13. Taipei, Taiwan - 76.51
Taiwan's capital ranks in the top four of cities where citizens feel personally safe making it an incredibly attractive prospect to live there. Overall safety drops down to 13th but that is still a pretty high rating which is impressive for a country that is in a constant dispute with China over sovereignty.
A city that blends history and technology to its advantage, Taipei is part of a major high-tech industrial area.
12. San Francisco, USA - 76.63
One of America's largest and most prosperous tech hubs and centers of creativity, San Francisco installed a chief resilience officer in 2014 and this person overlooks many aspects of the city including population density to migration and climate change.
With a wide remit being able to marry up the different aspects usually coming under different departments, safety can be pushed to the fore and increased significantly with greater ease than many other cities might have.
11. Hong Kong - 77.24
Another city with a heavy focus on technology and the tech industries, it makes sense that Hong Kong would want to rank highly for cyber security as a lot of its banking and infrastructure is built around it. This drags its overall ranking up as it comes in the top 5 of the world for cyber security whilst other areas let it down.
That being said, being in the top 11 overall is still very impressive.
10. New York City, USA - 78.06
A city that has a worse reputation than it deserves in terms of safety as it breaks into the top 10 in the world. Being a financial capital (the only AAA++ rated city apart from London) means that its cyber security is extremely good but in a more surprising turn of events, NYC also ranks highly for its health security.
This means, should an outbreak of disease occur, the city will be very well prepared.
9. Melbourne, Australia - 78. 67
Not only one of the best places in the world to get avocados in almost every form for brunch (alongside a decent coffee, I might add), Melbourne is super safe too and ranks highly in terms of infrastructure safety, minimizing road and rail accidents. Sunshine, safety and avos on toast, what more could you want?
Well, perhaps a little more safety for citizens, as it breaks the top 10 but doesn't get higher than #9.
8. Toronto, Canada - 78.81
If you include cost of living and the business environment, Toronto ranks as the best city in the world to live in and safety of its citizens also contributes a lot to that as they clearly do not feel threatened by much. The most populous city in Canada, it is imperative that it keep its residents safe.
Prominent for its music, theater and film production, Toronto is a hub of creative industries in Canada.
7. Zurich, Switzerland - 78.84
The Swiss city is a banking and financial center of the world and ranks highly in cyber security but perhaps more impressively, Zurich ranks as the world's number 1 city for infrastructure and health security but being one of the most expensive and luxurious cities in the world, one might hope that it does place highly in those areas.
The political neutrality of Switzerland may also play some part in the safety felt by its citizens.
6. Sydney, Australia - 78.91
Like Melbourne, Sydney is an Australian city that ranks extremely well for infrastructure security(coming in 3rd globally for secure transport) which adds to its overall ranking and puts it marginally ahead of the other Australian metropolises.
The most populous city in Australia and surrounding the largest natural harbor in the world, transport security is vital to the safe day-to-day running of the urban area.
5. Amsterdam, The Netherlands - 79.19
With one of the smallest populations of any of the cities on the list (around 800,000 people live there), it is perhaps marginally easier to keep the residents feeling safer but that doesn't stop heavy levels of attention being paid to the infrastructure safety of the trains, trams and canals of the cultural hub of Holland.
Liberal ideals and police presence may also contribute to safety levels in the city.
4. Stockholm, Sweden - 80.02
The only European capital to appear in the top 10 cities for cyber security, with all others being in Asia or America, Sweden's capital also ranks incredibly highly across the board which puts it 4th globally and the highest ranked city for overall safety in the whole of Europe.
The cultural, media, political, and economic center of Sweden, Stockholm is of great importance to the country and so its safety is a primary concern.
3. Osaka, Japan - 82.36
Rating as the number 2 city in the world for personal safety, Osaka comes up a little short for cyber security as it slides into the fifth spot globally but this is still no mean feat. The second largest city in Japan, it is known as 'the nation's kitchen' due to its mercantile roots where it served as a center for the rice trade during the Edo period.
A major economic hub for the country, it sits at the mouth of the Yodo river and transport security and infrastructure is highly ranked and well maintained.
2. Singapore - 84.61
Singapore is a city-state and as such all of its resources are fed back into the city. This means that it ranks highly across the board as it is also very heavily reliant on the tourism trade f which it has built an economy of tax-free shopping around.
Personal safety and business environment are where most of its attentions go and it has paid off as the city comes in at number 2 overall in the world.
1. Tokyo, Japan - 85.63
It may sound counter-intuitive that the world's most populous city is also the safest one on the globe but this is in part down to the culture it embodies as well as its penchant for incorporating high-end technology into everyday usage which means that its cyber security is super high.
The focus on keeping the 38 million people living there moving and safe means that transport and infrastructure security is high as well as the feeling of personal safety. Nice one Tokyo!